Saturday, November 10, 2012

Ranks and Officers - and how to use them

Officers are a crucial part of a guild, and can be a great help to the guild master, as well as bringing terrible consequences along, if they are not chosen carefully or kept right on track.

Officers should be considered as an equal member of a guild, but taking extra weight and responsibility on their shoulders - it is not a rank for rewarding a certain member, or a rank of status.

I truly believe, ranks in a guild, have nothing to do with status or power. In my experience, and in my beliefs guild ranks are merely tools, and all members are considered equal, with equal rights, no the matter rank.
The higher rank a person has, the more responsibility and features the person has aces to. It is as simple as that. Basically, the ones who work the hardest in relation to the guild's foundations gets the higher rank.

What is a rank then? - A rank is a tool. It is to unlock features to the people who are willing to use those features. Extra aces to the guild bank, the ability to invite people to the guild and so on.

Before promoting a member, you must always consider, if the person would benefit by the promotion. Would that person be using the features? Will they come in handy? And is the current member limited, in repairs, withdraws and features with his current rank? - And most importantly, will the person not be likely to abuse the rank?

A rank, in my eyes should never be a reward for: having the best gear, being the best dps, activity or for how long the person has stayed in the guild etc.
I see many Guild Masters doing the mistake of promoting people, to high ranks, purely because they are afraid of losing a member, who is one of their best raiders/pvpers or based on activity.
In that case, the person would consider the rank as a reward, and is likely to consider the rank only for "showing-off" purposes. Which is wrong - because it divide members into "good players, casual players, and bad players."

As soon as you have members, with high ranks in your guild - who do not benefit to the guild in the ways you want to, it will be a lot harder to distribute the ranks to the people, who actually do contribute. So chose your promotions carefully!

Choosing Officers: 
I currently do not have any officers in my guild, and I have not had any, for a couple of years now. The rank is still accessible to whenever I find an officer who I believe is suitable.
There is no need to hand out officer ranks, even if you do not have any, and go for the 2nd best you can find. You should only compare the ranks to what you feel is expected from the ranks, not divide the ranks, by comparison to your members.

That is one of the reasons I have not found an officer yet - I simply have not come across a person, who would live up, to my expectations and the job required to be an officer for my guild. But the preference of an officer can vary from guild to guild.

So when you have to find an officer, be absolutely sure what you expect from an officer.
Here are some examples:
  • Knowing 100% what the guild stands for, what the goals and achievements are. <- Very important
  • Managing a guild webpage / Blogs
  • Do in game, and out-of-game recruiting 
  • Public relations - reaching out to local communities (such as realm forums etc.)
  • Encounter and solving guild related problems 
Reconsider you promote someone to officer "just" because they are Raid Leading. Honestly, and in my opinion raid leading is not a difficult job - and about half of everyone in my 10 man raiding group, can take the job upon themselves, as raid leader. Some Guild Masters might automatically promote Raid Leaders to Officers - Which I believe is a very bad idea. A Raid Leader is purely about leading raids - while the most important things, that makes a guilds cogs turn smoothly, are all the other aspects of guild management, such as listed above. Which are responsibilities not many wish to take, and therefore such people are hard to find.

Helping out with gear, stats, tactics, Raid Leading etc. is something you can expect for middle ranks to take care of. These are also responsibilities a lot of players can live up to - which concludes it would not make much sense, making these Officers. Otherwise before you know of it, you have too many officers - or too many officers to choose from.
Tactics, Raid Leading, Gear, etc is knowledge and responsibilities a lot of players can easily live up to.and therefore it is not a job, I consider as hard, difficult and time consuming as what is previously listed, such as pure guild management.

So make sure you find someone who can in the long run, help you to carry your guild in the right direction, and knows in what direction as well, and to maintain the atmosphere and goals that you have in mind for your guild. 
Choosing an officer, who do not share similar views, can eventually kill your guild - so choose wisely, and be picky! - And despite you might have officers, continue to try and engage all members into what is going on in the guild, no matter rank, activity, and so on. Because this opens up the possibility for new members or low rank members, to show their potential to perhaps take higher responsibility upon themselves.

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